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Optimal Voting Rules

Author

Listed:
  • Alex Gershkov
  • Benny Moldovanu
  • Xianwen Shi

Abstract

We derive the incentive compatible and ex-ante welfare maximizing ($i.e.$ utilitarian) mechanism for settings with an arbitrary number of agents and alternatives where the privately informed agents have single-crossing and single-peaked preferences. The optimal outcome can be implemented by modifying a sequential voting scheme that is used in many legislatures and committees. The modification uses a flexible majority threshold for each of several alternatives, and allows us to replicate, via a single sequential procedure, the entire class of anonymous, unanimous, and dominant strategy incentive compatible mechanisms. Our analysis relies on elegant characterizations of this class of mechanisms for single-peaked and single-crossing preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Gershkov & Benny Moldovanu & Xianwen Shi, 2017. "Optimal Voting Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 688-717.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:84:y:2017:i:2:p:688-717.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rdw044
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sequential voting; Single-crossing preferences; Generalized median; Dominant strategy implementation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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